Who Likes Correction?
Correction. Somehow we feel once we’ve grown up we don’t need correction, or we certainly don’t think so. What does correction look like now that we are adults and you know…mature?
Every one of us has certain blind spots; things about ourselves that need some work, things that we are unaware of. So if we are unaware of them how are we supposed to work on them? Enter…the trusted friend. God has designed us for community, to be a part of other lives and not to be the proverbial lone ranger so to speak. Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to advice and accept correction, and in the end you will be wise.”
So since our lives are intended to be intertwined in community God uses other people to see the flaws in us that we cannot see. Anyone you know could offer a bit of constructive criticism to guide you toward change, but I’ve found the best and most effective way to receive correction is in the context of relationship.
Have you ever had a co-worker or neighbor call you out on your stuff? Most of the time we become defensive and feel attacked. Why, because there is no deep, personal relationship that invites correction through trust. But just because we don’t appreciate their unasked for insight does not meant that there is not some element of truth in their observation. Proverbs 19:27 states, “Don’t stop listening to correction my child, or you will forget what you have already learned.”
So how can we become people who can receive correction?
1. Realize everyone has junk. We have baggage from wounding, bad habits, learned behavior etc. that can be destructive to our relationships and sometimes we lack the necessary filters to silence our opinions. It’s of the utmost importance to have a couple of people in your life that you ALLOW to speak truth to you. It’s always a great idea to get another persons perspective, even if you don’t like it.
2. Value perspective. Ten people can assess a situation and have ten different opinions about it. All ten will most likely be different. So who is right? It’s not a matter of right or wrong it’s just a matter of perspective. For thousands of years the world was thought to be flat. But 2500 years ago the ancient mathematician Eratosthenes, using shadows and working with a team of bematists estimated the earth to be 28,738 miles in circumference. He was pretty close; the earth is actually 24,902 miles wide if measured at the equator. Who knew…perspective can be valuable.
3. Realize you could be wrong. Ouch. No one likes to think they are wrong but the reality is we just might be. Or it may not be that we are wrong as much as a different approach may just be more respectful and beneficial to use. There’s an old saying, you can draw more flies with sugar than you can with salt. HOW we say something is just as important as WHAT we are saying.
4. Learn humility. Humility is an attitude that lacks pride. It is meek or submissive toward an opposing opinion or belief. Pride causes us to assert our opinion or way onto other people insisting that we are right. To be corrected we must humble ourselves and understand that others opinions can be valuable and even add to our own knowledge.
5. Learn to slow down and hear the wisdom of the Holy Spirit before you speak. Have you ever been in a conversation and you’re just dying to interject your thoughts? A little voice inside of you is tugging at your heart letting you know to just keep that to yourself. We’ve alllll been there. If we choose to just open our mouths and let it fly, we have let our pride and our flesh win. Which usually ends in an argument or hurt feelings between you both. But, as we learn to listen to His gentle voice we learn that voicing our opinion just isn’t necessary. Opinions are like butts, we all have one but no one needs to see (or hear) it!!!!
It’s so important to be able to receive correction and even learn to ask for it. It’s not easy to do that, and sometimes not comfortable to hear the hard truth. But there is no better way to grow as a human being and a believer than to embrace correction from others God places in our lives and from God’s own Word. His word is there for us to read and be corrected by. It’s way easier to correct than to be corrected. No doubt. But God’s word states in Hebrews 12:6, “For those whom the Lord loves He corrects and He disciplines every son whom He loves.”
He loves us enough to correct us; we need to love Him enough to receive it. Selah